May 18 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 11, 2013
Norwich City fans have a stark choice at the moment – and the two options are becoming more extreme with each passing week.
Those carrying their half-full glasses out of Carrow Road on a truly freezing Saturday afternoon will have been happy enough with clean sheet number nine of the Premier League campaign.
It is the surest sign of City’s defensive improvement under Chris Hughton given they had just three in the top-flight all last season, and something of a success taking into account Southampton’s handful of excellent chances that in truth should have seen them get off the mark.
Also, the Canaries’ gap to the bottom three now stands at nine points. With Wigan’s game in hand a yet to be rearranged trip to Manchester City, it seems likely the gap won’t reduce after those 90 minutes.
But given the frustrated boos during the weekend’s top-flight clash, all is far from well for a proportion of those at Carrow Road.
It is now just three goals scored in nine competitive matches, including an FA Cup exit to non-league opponents on home soil.
And should anything untoward happen at Sunderland and Wigan before the month is out, then the fact a successful Grant Holt injury time penalty would have lifted City into the top half of the Premier League table and to almost certain safety will start to feel a little awkward.
In the end Artur Boruc saved Holt’s penalty and Southampton’s fury at the original decision was tempered.
For Mark Bunn and his excellent repelling of the Saints’ best intentions, the choice is simple – glass half full.
“From a goalkeeper’s point of view it’s always nice to keep clean sheets,” said the City keeper, who has now made more appearances this season than injured number one John Ruddy. “That’s what we are there for, to make saves. It was nice to do that.
“They seemed to be coming at us quite a bit in the second half but at the end of the day I’m pleased to keep a clean sheet, and hopefully I can keep another one in the next game.
“It was disappointing from us today; we weren’t really at our best. If we’d have scored at the end there, I don’t think it would have been a fair result. I think 1-1 would have probably been a fair result.
“We had a great chance to get the three points, but it wasn’t to be so we’ll take the one.”
The actual penalty decision given by referee Mark Clattenburg happened at the other end of the snow-obscured pitch to Bunn – not that the City keeper shared the moment’s controversial feel.
“I couldn’t really see – I don’t even know who got fouled; I think it was Holty who went down in the box… but I think it was a definite penalty,” smiled Bunn.
“It was our first penalty of the season and right at the end as well, so it was a really big moment for us.
“Holty hit it well and I thought he was going to score but that happens; you score some and you miss some. He’s a bit down but it is a fantastic save by their goalkeeper and it kept them in the game.
“There’s nothing better as a keeper than saving a penalty right at the end. Full credit to the goalkeeper there, he’s done very well.
“It was a great chance for us to get three points but I think a draw was probably a fair result in the end.
“We were not at our best but we could have nicked it at the end and that would’ve sent us 10th in the league, so that is how tight it is.”